Compared: The 5 Best Reddit Apps for Android

The 5 Best Reddit Apps for Android

Whether you've celebrated multiple cake days or you're just now getting your feet wet with Reddit, it's a rite of passage to choose your preferred smartphone client.

Reddit's mobile site is pretty decent, but there's no better way to view "the front page of the internet" than with a dedicated app. Luckily, heated competition in this sector means that we have many great options to choose from on Android. The selection may seem a little overwhelming at first glance, but five apps in particular stand out above the rest. These apps will be the focus of today's comparison.

The post submission interfaces for all five of these apps are much the same, but the browsing experience varies greatly. Some use Android's built-in website rendering app (WebView) to display all links, while others can handle links from YouTube, Imgur, and more with a native pop-up viewer. Some adhere to Android's Material design principles, while others have their own unique interface. So there are plenty of differentiating factors, and I'll delve into those in more detail below.

Apps That Didn't Make the Cut

We anticipate plenty of comments about how it's a travesty that we left off XYZ Reddit app, so let's get out in front of that one.

The first omission that needs to be addressed is the official Reddit app. Yes, it's pretty decent and it's actually official, but you're kidding yourself if you think it's anywhere near as feature-rich as the third-party apps in this list.

Then there's Bacon Reader and Reddit is Fun, which used to be two of the best options several years ago. Times have changed, however, so if you're still using an app that looks like this or this in 2017, it's time to reevaluate some things. Loyalty is nice, familiar interfaces are comfortable, but trust me — the five apps that actually made our list are much more fluid and intuitive once you get used to them.

1. Boost for Reddit

First up is Boost for Reddit. This app has tons of customization options, so if you're not a fan of the way something looks or behaves, there's a good chance you can change it. Boost is updated on a fairly regular basis and has a developer who is active in the community, so there's plenty to like right off the bat.

Boost's default view mode puts content first with full-sized cards, but if you're concerned about information density, more compact views are available. You can navigate through subreddits using either the side navigation menu or a drop-down menu, and if your launcher supports it, you can use App Shortcuts to jump to your favorite sub from your home screen.

(1) Boost's browsing experience, (2) The robust settings menu, (3) Using App Shortcuts and media-only mode.

Boost for Reddit Bottom Line

Boost uses a fairly standard Material Design interface, so any Android user should feel right at home off the bat. But even if you're not, there are customization options for almost everything — from the size of cards to the buttons that show up, and even the sensitivity of gestures.

The only knock I have against Boost is that sometimes, posts and comments can take longer than they should to load. But this could be an issue with my phone or internet connection, so your mileage may vary, and it's hardly noticeable in the first place. Overall, this is one of the most powerful and versatile Reddit apps on any platform.

Boost for Reddit Quick Facts

  • Native viewer: YouTube, Imgur, Streamable, Vid.me, XKCD, and more
  • Chrome Custom Tabs: Yes
  • Themes: Fully themeable with automatic night mode
  • Subreddit navigation: Side navigation menu or drop-down menu
  • Post and comment filters: Yes
  • Gestures: Swipe to go back, swipe to dismiss media
  • App Shortcuts: Yes
  • Media-only mode: Yes
  • Trending subs: Yes
  • History: Yes
  • Flair support: Text only
  • Table support: Yes
  • Support community: Yes
  • Best feature: Abundant customization options
  • Biggest downside: Occasional lag when loading comments (very slight)
  • Price to remove ads: $2.49

2. Now for Reddit

Next, we have Now for Reddit, whose interface is unique in the fact that it allows you to swipe between subreddits by default. While this is an artifact of Android 4.0's Holo interface, burgeoning Material Design elements such as an additional full screen subreddit side navigation menu are present throughout the app.

A unique theme option in Now pulls subreddit header images to be used as the background for the app's action bar, but if this is disabled, a full RGB color picker allows you to choose your own background color. An in-app viewer is capable of handling many of the popular image and video submissions on Reddit, so you can usually browse without interruptions.

(1) Now's browsing experience, (2) Fairly slim settings menu, (3) Media-viewing experience.

Now for Reddit Bottom Line

Now's interface is dead simple — just tap an image or link to view it, or tap the title of a post to see the comment section. Swiping left or right to switch between subs is also intuitive, and the side navigation menu is still available if you need to jump from the end to the beginning of your subreddit list. These simple and intuitive default settings are Now's biggest strength.

However, compared to other apps in this list, the customization options are a bit bare-bones. On top of that, the app isn't updated as frequently as some others — in fact, the last beta release was over two months ago as of this writing. But frequent updates and in-depth customization options aren't priorities for everyone, so Now could very well be a perfect fit for you.

Now for Reddit Quick Facts

  • Native viewer: YouTube, Imgur, Gfycat
  • Chrome Custom Tabs: No
  • Themes: Fully themeable (if subreddit header option disabled)
  • Subreddit navigation: Tabs and side navigation menu
  • Post and comment filters: Yes
  • Gestures: Swipe to go back, swipe between subreddits
  • App Shortcuts: No
  • Media-only mode: No
  • Trending subs: No
  • History: No
  • Flair support: Text only
  • Table support: No
  • Support community: Yes
  • Best feature: Reddit TV support
  • Biggest downside: Minimal view options and limited settings
  • Price to remove ads: $3.99

3. Relay for Reddit

Our third option (in alphabetical order) goes by the name of Relay for Reddit, and it's probably the most gesture-oriented Reddit client out there. You can swipe a post for more options, swipe up when viewing a link to expand the comments, swipe to go back from almost any screen, and even swipe between tabs in the sharing menu.

A drop-down menu at the top of the screen serves as your subreddit menu, and Material design animations cause lists to playfully expand onto the screen. Relay has a native pop-up viewer for the most popular media sharing sites used on Reddit, though it doesn't support quite as many as Boost or Sync.

(1) Relay's browsing experience, (2) Settings menu, (3) Split media and comment view.

Relay for Reddit Bottom Line

Aside from the abundant gestures, Relay's biggest strength is probably its unique interface. A bottom bar gives you quick access to common functions such as refreshing the page or marking posts as read, and developer DBrady has managed to accomplish this without taking away from the app's stellar Material Design styling.

However, the unique interface may not be for everyone. While tapping an image thumbnail does indeed take you directly to the image, tapping a card from the main subreddit view takes you to a split-screen interface that isn't quite as intuitive. First, you'll see the comments, but you won't be able to see the submission here unless you swipe down from the top of the screen, which is odd. Additionally, there aren't very many customization options relative to other apps in this list, but that could be a negative or a positive depending on what type of user you are.

Relay for Reddit Quick Facts

  • Native viewer: YouTube, Imgur, Gfycat
  • Chrome Custom Tabs: No
  • Themes: Night/Black/Blue/Pink
  • Subreddit navigation: Drop-down menu
  • Post and comment filters: Yes
  • Gestures: Swipe posts for options, swipe up for comments, swipe back
  • App Shortcuts: No
  • Media-only mode: No
  • Trending subs: No
  • History: No
  • Flair support: Text only
  • Table support: No
  • Support community: Yes
  • Best feature: Gestures galore
  • Biggest downside: Vertically split comment/link view is not intuitive
  • Price to remove ads: $2.99

4. Slide for Reddit

Up next, we have Slide for Reddit. Similar to Now, you can navigate through subreddits by swiping, and there's also a side navigation menu if you prefer that method. It's the only app in this list that has a dark theme enabled by default, though a setup screen on first-run will give you the option of changing background and accent colors.

Slide's main interface is your typical Material Design styling, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting the hang of things. Similar to Now, one unique wrinkle is the fact that you can swipe left or right to flip between subreddits, which is supplemented by a side navigation menu in case you need it. Overall, it's a very snappy and fluid interface.

(1) Slide's browsing experience, (2) A few of the many settings, (3) Viewing media.

Slide for Reddit Bottom Line

In terms of sheer customization options, Slide ranks right up there with Boost and Sync (more on this app below), so if you like to have things your way, you'll love this app. Perhaps the best feature, though, is where Slide gets its name: When viewing a subreddit, simply open a post, then you can slide to the right to view the next post without going back to the main menu.

There were really only two downsides I encountered while testing this app. First, you have to install a plugin to view YouTube videos in the app, and second, some common features, like media-only mode and automatic night mode, are hidden behind a paywall. But in the grand scheme of things, those are fairly minor gripes.

Slide for Reddit Quick Facts

  • Native viewer: Imgur, Gfycat, YouTube via plugin
  • Chrome Custom Tabs: Yes
  • Themes: Fully themeable (automatic night mode with Slide Pro)
  • Subreddit navigation: Tabs and side navigation menu
  • Post and comment filters: Yes
  • Gestures: Swipe to go back, swipe between subreddits
  • App Shortcuts: No
  • Media-only mode: Yes (with Slide Pro)
  • Trending subs: No
  • History: Yes
  • Flair support: Text only
  • Table support: Yes
  • Support community: Yes
  • Best feature: Slide to view next submission
  • Biggest downside: Some key features require a plugin or the paid version
  • Price to remove ads: $3.99

5. Sync for Reddit

Last (but certainly not least) comes Sync for Reddit. If Lord Duarte himself created a Reddit app, this is what it would look like. Sync's interface is chock full of Material Design elements, which makes for a consistent user experience when run alongside most modern Android apps.

Sync supports more link types in its native pop-up viewer than any other app in this list, but you can open links in an external app if you want. The side navigation menu allows for easy subreddit browsing, and many different themes, color schemes, and interface tweaking options are available. Posts and comment sections can quickly be downloaded for offline use, which would come in handy for your next flight out of town.

(1) Sync's browsing experience, (2) Just some of Sync's many settings, (3) App Shortcuts and media-only mode.

Sync for Reddit Bottom Line

Sync's creator Laurence Dawson is by far the most active developer in this list. If you think the app is lacking something, you can post a request thread in the app's official subreddit, and if the community agrees with you, there's a good chance the feature might be added in the next beta update.

This practice has made Sync for Reddit one of the most feature-rich apps out there, and I'm not just talking Reddit clients. However, that does come with one possible drawback, depending on how you look at things: While the defaults should be fine for most users, you'll have to spend some time tinkering with settings to get the most out of Sync's personalization options.

Sync for Reddit Quick Facts

  • Native viewer: YouTube, Imgur, Gfycat, Streamable, and more
  • Chrome Custom Tabs: Yes
  • Themes: Fully themeable with automatic night mode
  • Subreddit navigation: Side navigation menu or drop-down menu
  • Post and comment filters: Yes
  • Gestures: Swipe to go back, swipe to dismiss posts and media
  • App Shortcuts: Yes
  • Media-only mode: Yes
  • Trending subs: Yes
  • History: Yes (with Incognito Mode)
  • Flair support: Text and images
  • Table support: Yes
  • Support community: Yes
  • Best feature: Sync posts and comments for offline viewing
  • Biggest downside: Settings overload
  • Price to remove ads: $3.99

And the Winner Is...

This was an extremely close race — particularly among the top three apps, which were Sync, Boost, and Slide (in that order). Sync for Reddit eeked out the victory here mostly because of its awesome developer, but a handful of additional customization options and the fact that it's the only app with full support for user flair also helped.

However, Boost for Reddit was a very close second, with Slide for Reddit just behind that. These two apps plus Sync are clearly the cream of the crop, so you could pick any one of them and not go wrong. For the full rankings, make sure to check out the chart below.

Image by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

We clearly have a wealth of quality Reddit apps available on Android, and they each put their iOS counterparts to shame in my opinion. What's your favorite Reddit app for Android? Let us know in the comment section below.

Cover image and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

1 Comment

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest